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  • Title: Degenerate Art
    Artist: Yongju Kwon, Woonghyun Kim, An Gyungsu, Yongseok Oh,
               Okin Collective, Yuri Yim, Jang Pa, Sojung Jun, Jeong Deokhyeon
    Curator: Sohyun Ahn
    Space Design: Hyungjoon Kim
    Graphic Design: Gyeongtak Kang(
    Exhibition Period: June 23, 2016 - August 14, 2016
    Opening Reception: June 23, 2016 (Thur), 6pm
    Opening Concert: Seedless Watermelon Kim Dae Jung
    Venue: Art Space Pool, Seoul, Korea
    Exhibition Times: 10am ~ 6pm (closed on Mondays)
    Support: Arts Council Korea
    The Degenerate Art Exhibition and The exhibition Degenerate Art
    Sohyun Ahn(Independent Curator)   
    Remarkably recently, art has been discussed in the passive voice. Artworks are censored, budgets on arts have been cut, art spaces have been evacuated and the directors of the artistic institutions have been replaced. Yet, most of these sentences are actually asymmetrical since there lack the subjects of the actions. The subjects do not willingly take actions nor provide answers, or they are not even clearly identified whereas the art, described in asymmetrical passive voice, has wandered around refuting restrictions imposed by the society, and trying to find alternatives. In such circumstances, ideas for the exhibition Degenerate Art started from reckless questions as follow: Is it desirable that artists are worried, discuss and even obliviously adjust artworks to live up to the restrictions that the society has made and imposed on them? Can art diverge from the status of monotonous passivity to provide boundaries to the society by exposing its stringency and biases?
    In 1937, The Degenerate Art Exhibition (Die Ausstellung "Entartete Kunst")was organized by the Nazis to display blunt criticism towards the avant-garde art for having had attempted formal experimentations as well as covering delicate issues such as race, religion, and politics. Also, the Nazis incinerated some of the works or sent some abroad. The purpose of the Exhibition was to weed out Jewish artists and the dissidents. However, as the history is turned out to be, the Nazis was determined as the absolute evil and the honor of the “degenerate” artists has been redeemed. This is how the Exhibition is reversely put on the record as an obvious symptom that demonstrated the cultural intolerance and the ignorance of the Nazis.
    The reason I would rather refer to the Exhibition held under an extreme circumstance as the Nazi regime is that the Exhibition delivers several points that still surprise us significantly: First of all, the works defined as "degenerate" were turned out to be not too radical to the eyes of spectators today. Admittedly, these works were actually concerned with trite issues in art; secondly, the argumentations made by the Nazis to criticize the works are fairly thorough so that they sounded as not too different from what we hear commonly in the current, seemingly rational society; and thirdly, the display was set to disparage the works by using methods such as placing denouncing texts on the side, or hanging many works in a confined space. Today, such method could be interpreted as an intentional decision to emancipate artworks from the authority and the conventions of the modernists. Therefore, there is a sort of deniable déjà-vu or familiar feelings revolving around this Exhibition even though one might want to avoid any association with the name that reminds the notorious labeling of the absolute evil such as “the Nazis”.
    Nine teams of artists participate in the exhibition Degenerate Art, held at Art Space Pool in 2016: Yongju Kwon, Woonghyun Kim, An Gyungsu, Yongseok Oh, Okin Collective, Yuri Yim, Jang Pa, Sojung Jun, Jeong Deokhyeon are the names of the participating artists/teams. Their works are presented to reexamine the three above-mentioned unexpectedness. The artists are seriously concerned with the true nature of the mediums they work with. However, that does not mean that the artists persist only to certain mediums or that they adhere to form being only concerned with the medium-specificity. Their works in various formats such as painting, sculpture, video, performance rely on the unusual experiences that cannot be explained with words. In other words, even though they are aware-either intentionally or unintentionally-of the strong social context in which their works are positioned, they still struggle to employ diverse kinds of senses to render them as the initial points where meanings arise from. For example, artists use unfamiliar color, dripping or smudged paints, peculiar tactility, moving images showing pixels, a sound that plucks one’s nerves, or even the futility of actions. To put it simply, their works cannot be reduced as “conceptual” as its common use, thus the works reveal ancient worries of the artists to reduce the gap between the content and the form.
    The exhibition Degenerate Art pays parodical homage to The Degenerate Art Exhibition in 1937 by the Nazis and introduces these “classical” artists along with excessive castigation. The tone and the reasoning of the criticism refer to many articles and press reports asserting reinforcement of restriction in arts. If the parody is done successfully, the criterion of the criticism could serve as an index that demonstrates the social convention. On the other hand, I hoped that the criticism could provide an opportunity for the spectators to constantly weigh and take their positions and eventually and paradoxically enable them to appreciate and comprehend the works conscientiously. What I realized in the process of this schizophrenic parody is that you need at least two strategies in order to “effectively” criticize the certain piece of work. The first thing is to make spectators assume that artists skillfully hide something, and the second thing is to persuade the spectators that the moral is absolute as the dead-end so that the judgment is incontestable.
    The composition of the exhibition space is intended to liberate the works from the museographical conventions, which are originally devised to ensure the autonomy of the works. This attempt to make a break with the conventions such as hanging oeuvres in a row, respecting the frontality of the works, securing the independent space for the works in order to make spectators reconsider the derivative meanings to perceive the medium called the exhibition space.
    The exhibition Degenerate Art does not merely attempt to articulate that the common notions of the current society are no different than the Nazis. Such method of criticism is similar the strategy to restrict art, in that it still presumes the moral absoluteness, or the absolute evil called the Nazis as the criteria. The questions I would like to bring forth via this exhibition are whether a rigid society has ever strived to build a strategy to uphold arts, as much as it has worked scrupulously to establish strategies to confine and censor arts. It is a self-evident fact that the art of today should tackle the taboo for a more interesting art of tomorrow. I am wondering if people who oppose the idea have persuasive and thorough arguments. It is now time for us to reflect on ourselves in order to find the answer why explanations on arts have always been in the asymmetrical passive voice.



  • 'Art and Work' is a study group of artists and curators that had gathered in Art Space Pool during the past 6 months. While reflecting on the topography of art and social environment in which 'art workers like ourselves' are living, we have planned projects to work on together. By contemplating on various issues such as contemporary 'social art', art and labor, web environment culture theory, open source and copyright, website building skills, we are in the process of preparing the big frame for a new website that operates through 'technology'. We have created the platform as a public symposium to share what the 'Art and Work' community has come up with. Anyone with an interest is welcome to participate.
    * The symposium discussions will be published and distributed.
    ◆ Program of the Symposium
        1. Used-up Alternatives and 'Art and Work' /  Eunbi Jo
        2. Gendered Web Territory, Struggle of the 'Female Maniac League'
           / Sooyoung Kim
        3. Do-it-yourself x Open Source / Dayeong Choi
        4. Telekommunist Manifesto, the Making of the Artists' Sharing Domain
           / Donghyun Gwon
        5. Proposing a Technology Knowledge Website / Dongkyu Kim
    ◆ Members: Donghyun Gwon, Dongkyu Kim, Sooyoung Kim, Ikkyun Shin,
                       Jiwon Lee, Yongsuk Jeon, Eunbi Jo, Narae Jin, Dayeong Choi
    ◆ Date: 30thNovember, 2014(Sun) 4-6pm
    ◆ Venue: Art Space Pool(Segeomjeong-ro, 9-gil 91-5, Jongno-gu, Seoul)
    ◆ Contact: 02-396-4805 / (Please contact us for
                      participation until midnight, 29thof November.)
    ◆ Host: Art Space Pool, Art and Work
    ◆ Organizer: Korean Artists Welfare Foundation
    ◆ Sponsor: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
    ≪Preface, Art and Work Document≫  
    ‘Art and Work’ is the name of a study group composed of 9 young artists and curators who had gathered in Art Space Pool during the past 6 months. While reflecting on the topography of art and social environment in which 'art workers like ourselves' are living, the members of the group have planned projects to work on together. Alternative space and the flow of public art, art and labor, feminism, culture theories surrounding 'surplus' and the Web, the birth of Web and its development, website building skills, and technoculturecriticism were the main themes that we have studied together. Along with the studies, we have continued our discussions on the building of a homepage 'operable' in the public realm of the art field. As the answer for the questions brought out from the notion of what surrounds art and oneself, 'Art and Work' decided to create a new website that operates through 'technology' in the broad sense.
    This document contains the various themes that were on the table of our study process, not without difficulties. There are 10 pieces contributed by members and the draft proposals of the website planning process.
    Eunbi Jo reveals the dilemmas and worries she had while working as curator of an alternative space, under the title 'Used-up Alternatives and Art and Work'. Analyzing the issues unleashed by young artists and diagnosing the weakened state of 'alternative culture movement', she proposes opening a new 'ground' as a form of new existence. Dongkyu Kim's 'Professional and Layman, and (Non-)Professional' talks about the fundamental proposal for the artist's profession and social role, in a corner of the discourse on art and economy. Jiwon Lee expresses in ' and Work', what she felt as administrative manager of Art Space Pool while hosting the study group program, the issues of reality in 'work environment' in the broad sense. Sooyoung Kim begins with the  'discourse of surplus' which arose based on the phenomenon of web culture and explains the process of a certain web territory relating with reality through the example of a certain fandom case in 'Gendered Web Territory, Struggle of the Female Maniac League'.
    Narae Jin who works on collage-writing works, attempts to perform acrobatic expression in between the 'total crisis' situation as an artist living under neo-liberalistic conditions. 'Total Crisis, and Zig-Zag' tells the chain of worries that were created during the process. Dayeong Choi's  'Do-it-yourself x Open Source' presents the notion of Open Source, as the basis to expand the discussion on our material condition and realization onto the horizon of the Web. Major notions of sharing culture based on open source and the ideals of the Web are dealt with. Donghyun Gwon introduces the discourses in Dmytri Kleiner's 'The Telekommunist Manifesto' and talks about guidelines for leftist actions on the Web to resist the reality where the past Web values of 'common production and sharing' are eaten up by capitalism. Furthermore, continuing in the line of multi-layered discussions about copyright issues of creative labor, Gwon proposes ideas for 'Creating Artists' Sharing Domain' on the Web. Ikkyun Shin's Essay on 'Production-Technology' is a description of technical know-how that the author obtained first-hand during the process of production; it portrays the technical aspect which comprises the work of an artist. It is one of the examples of showing technical know-how in the broad sense that are expected to be shared through the website.
    Finally, you can find the blueprint of the website which will be operated based on the technology that suggests. Following Dongkyu Kim's contribution on the meaning of 'technology' understood by artists encountering the media environment and his expectations toward the experience of achievement enabled by 'sharing' technology, draft proposals of the website are presented. After numerous meetings, some ideas were accepted or omitted for various reasons during the planning of the identity of the website.
    This document assembles the itinerary of the study group which approached the issues in multi-facets in order to solve 'my' problem, or to find the 'engine power' that would boost energy in the lethargic art field. We hope these contributions will become the foundation stones for the upcoming website and more concrete discussions in the next step.


  • I. Project Descriptions
    INTERFERENCE is a 3 year (2010-12) research and development project that will result in a modern and contemporary Korean art criticism text archive, initiated by Art Space Pool, and developed in collaboration with Asia Art Archive (AAA) in Hong Kong as a contribution to the anthology project.
    . Project Objectives
    An archive, in any field, at any degree of specialty, is a starting, ending, and returning point of all activity. In exchange and collaboration between regions in art, an archive is a window, map and mirror of the regional context providing a general frame of reference throughout the whole course of inter-regional communication. Korean art, in this regard, has been exposed to the international art scene, only as temporary data, objects, and phenomena scattered around, rarely buttressed by the backbone of an archive, which functions to make the vibrant aesthetic narratives of the region like a myriad of dots in nowhere. aims to create the kind of archival content that includes information that is structured as a specific archive, rich with contextual knowledge, accessible to international viewers. as an archive will strategically focus upon art criticism texts, because art criticism is one of the best elements providing an overview of the intellectual history of the context of art in the region and at the same time, to facilitate contemporary utilization of the knowledge for various forms of application in art.
    An archive should be an open platform allowing and provoking interaction with itself, unless it wants to remain an archaic monument. An archive of art criticism texts particularly risks falling into the pitfall of prestigious historiography or art historical dictionary book. will be an archive with productive relevance to contemporary art practices, built by those who practice in the field on the border between global and local. The editorial board of this project should be those who are active both in and out of the local and global contemporary art scenes; and who maintain dual careers as critics and curators. Board members are responsible for building a bibliography of candidate’s texts; setting up a structure among the criticism according to the criterion of his/her perspective and selecting final texts; and writing a new essay about his/her selections. is a combination of an historical archive and a contemporary archive of new commissioned writings by multiple writers. In the end, builds an archive and interferes with the stolid ground of the archive by expanding a single historiographic narrative into a dynamic configuration of multiple perspectives.
    . Project Line-up
    - Project Director: Heejin Kim (Director of Art Space Pool)
    - Project Curator & Editor: Yumi Kang (2012 Program, Independent Editor)
    - Project Curators: Sohyun Ahn (2011 Program, Independent Curator)
                                      Jinjoo Kim (2010 Program, Independent Curator)
    - Project Coordinator: Jiyoung Jung
    - Editorial Board:
      Kim Jong-gil (Curator of The Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art)
      Hyunjin Kim (Independent Curator, Curator of 2008 Gwangju Biennale)
      Sohyun Ahn (Curator of Nam June Paik Art Center)
      Binna Choi (Director of CASCO Office for Art, Design and Theory)
      Seewon Hyun (Independent Curator, Art Theory)
    - Proofread & Review : Kil Ye-kyung (Freelance Art Translator)
    - Research Fellow: Sunghee Lee (AAA Researcher for Korea)
    - Sponsors: Arts Council Korea (2010-2012)
                           Seoul Foundation (2010)
                           Foundation for Arts Initiatives (2012)
    - Collaborating Partners: Asia Art Archive
    Comparative Contemporaries (A Web Anthology Project) by Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong & The Substation, Singapore
    . Project Timeline
    - Jan. – July 2012
    Conceptual Digest of the Archive by Researchers
    Copyright Clearance for Publication
    Text to Digital Conversion
    - Aug. – Oct. 2012
    English Translation of Highlighted Texts & 4 New Meta-Criticism Texts
    - Oct. – Dec. 2012
    Book Design and Book Launch (published by ‘forum a’, Seoul, Korea)
    AAA Online Launch at
    Public Lecture Series <Pulse of Conflicts> (5 Sessions)



    Site-specific art emerged in the late 1960s in reaction to the growing commodification of art and the prevailing ideals of art's autonomy and universality. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, as site-specific art intersected with land art, process art, performance art, conceptual art, installation art, institutional critique, community-based art, and public art, its creators insisted on the inseparability of the work and its context. In recent years, however, the presumption of unrepeatability and immobility encapsulated in Richard Serra's famous dictum "to remove the work is to destroy the work" is being challenged by new models of site specificity and changes in institutional and market forces.One Place after Another offers a critical history of site-specific art since the late 1960s and a theoretical framework for examining the rhetoric of aesthetic vanguardism and political progressivism associated with its many permutations. Informed by urban theory, postmodernist criticism in art and architecture, and debates concerning identity politics and the public sphere, the book addresses the siting of art as more than an artistic problem. It examines site specificity as a complex cipher of the unstable relationship between location and identity in the era of late capitalism. The book addresses the work of, among others, John Ahearn, Mark Dion, Andrea Fraser, Donald Judd, Renee Green, Suzanne Lacy, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Richard Serra, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and Fred Wilson.
    "What makes this book so strong is the steady course it plots through the inevitable polemical rapids." ARTFORUM

    "...will be valuable for practitioners in the field." Timothy P. Brown Afterimage

    "The concept of site specificity has been used to cover a wide and often ill-defined range of art practices. Kwon's important book clarifies the issues at stake and cogently lays out a number of analytical paths down which others will surely follow. One Place After Another will re-define the way we think about public art."--Russell Ferguson, Chief Curator, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

    "A compelling theoretical analysis that never loses sight of the 'here and now' of artistic practice and aesthetic experience. Miwon Kwon's exploration of the social and political dimensions of site specificity succeeds in being both original and provocative; it will provide a valuable foundation for all future studies."--Judith Russi Kirshner, critic, curator, and Dean of the College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago

    "One Place After Another discusses how artists from the 60s to the 90s have engaged with specific sites and their contexts, whether in art institutions or public places. Here, sites bring to the surface what is intrinsic to a locality but often overlooked or not yet visible. This book provides an important and critical overview of discourses about site specificity that will interest artists, commissioners, curators, institutions, critics, and the broader public."--Uta Meta Bauer, Professor of Theory, Practice, and Mediation of Contemporary Art, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
    Authored by Miwon Kwon
    Translated by Kim In Gyu, Woo Jung Ah, Lee Young Wook
    Published by The Book Society
    Published on 30. Aug. 2013
    IBSN 978-89-6564-080-6
    Price\ 22,000
    Black and white, 148x210mm, 288 pages

Gugi salon

  • Pool Public
    With an in-depthperspective to the public, Art Space Pool starts a new business, Pool Public and Pool Edition, to create a new 'art public', diversify art market, and construct local cultural environment.
    Pool Public aims to circulate, bridge artworks in community and build local culturalenvironment by partnership with prominent professionals from a private art scene. For an efficient process and management of the project, Pool Public focuses on core contents selected by a prudent evaluation, without making any affiliation with other relevant institutions. More importantly, Pool Public presents Pool Edition which is a closed collection of artists and artworks as well as its management business.
    We expect Pool Public to be a channel actively used among private culture supporters, not relying on system-led enlightenment campaigns or volunteer works. Also, we believe any place where those who love art and culture meet and interact will become the ‘Art Town(art community)’.
    Weask your continuous interests and supports toward Pool Public’s throughout the year of 2013.
    Pool Public
    Date : 15. Feb. 2013 – 30. Apr. 2013
    Location : Café Eungabi
    Address : 241-1 Shinyoungdong Jongnogu (heading Gugi tunnel from Sinyoung Samgeori, next to Kookmin bank Segumjung branch)
    Opening Hour : Mon-Fri (09:00-20:00), Sat-Sun (11:00-20:00)
    Contact : 02)394-0507
    * parking space available in the rear of the building
    Followed by Itaewon CCUULL and CCUULL POOL which will be closed in March, 2013, the first public program, , is launched in Gugidong where the Pool headquarter is located. The current project is initiated by a call from a couple who has a café named Eungabi having lived in Gugidong for about 6 years. The couple invited us to change their cafe into a gallery café. Now Pool is introducing ‘Pool Edition(an artist and artworks)’ with two months circulation at café Eungabi gladly offering a space as a Pool’s partner. Meanwhile Pool is now attempting to meet various art community of Buamdong-Pyeonchangdong-Gugidong neighborhood where has been attended to as a cultural and national park area in Sadaemoon(the four main gates in Seoul). As the first showcase of the project, we present 11 artworks of An Gyungsu.
    Artist : An Gyungsu (1975, based in Seoul), BFA Oriental Painting, Dangook University. MFA Oriental Painting, Hongik University. Joongang Fine Arts Prize-Excellence award. SongEun Art Award-Participation award.


  • Where the ends meet

    2013. 11. 28 - 2014. 01. 05

    Galerie Houg Art Contemporain, Lyon (43 Rue Auguste Comt 69002 lyon)
    Commisaire d'exposition Heejin KIM
    Young Min MOON
    siren eun young jung
    Sangdon KIM
    RHO Jae Oon

    L’exposition présente une vingtaine d’oeuvres des 6 artistes contemporains coréens les plus actifs à ce jour, en Corée et à l’étranger. Ces oeuvres sont nées des interrogations portées sur la civilisation matérialiste moderne et la sagesse humaine, rapport brutalement remis en lumière après la catastrophe de Fukushima, ainsi que d’une remise en question de la conscience sociale sur la situation géopolitique dans laquelle la Corée se trouve actuellement. L’art coréen, doté d’un caractère original, occupe une place particulière dans le paysage artistique est-asiatique. Alors que d’ordinaire les arts du continent asiatique se reflètent par un mélange des liens étroits qu’ils possèdent avec la tradition et de l’essence des sociétés contemporaines, la Corée, de par le conflit idéologique qui la divise depuis les années 50, puise dans la politique moderne une inspiration majeure, véritable source de création artistique. Surtout ce pays où coexistent le paradigme idéologique du siècle dernier et la haute technologie du futur, l’idéalisme féodal et l’industrie globale de hallyu*, la course à la vitesse et la division territoriale, la mémoire du colonialisme et la modernisation hâtive pourrait être considéré comme l’un des carrefours où se font face d’une manière extrême tous les désirs humains fondamentaux. 


    A cela s’ajoute une réflexion sur l’orgueil de la civilisation humaine et la fausse conscience de l’homme, réflexion faite par les témoins de cette catastrophe nucléaire et du désastre naturel qui a bouleversé terre et mer. Leur pensée sur la civilisation matérialiste parvient à convoquer les valeurs morales essentielles, certes ternies dans le monde moderne, mais qui subsistent en tant que formes et icônes. Ces artistes redécouvrent les signes et symboles moraux dans la vie quotidienne contemporaine et les reconstruisent dans un contexte nouveau. 


    Qu’est-ce que le respect ? Qu’est-ce que la sublimité de la nature qui peut provoquer jusqu’à l’oubli de soi ? Quelle illumination métaphysique apporte sur notre quotidien la vie et la mort ? Que sont l’élégance et la justice ? Dans leurs oeuvres, nous pourrons découvrir ces pensées philosophiques et anthropologiques, intrinsèquement liées à notre réalité. 


    Bien que cette exploration de l’art contemporain coréen puisse paraître comme un idéalisme métaphysique, du point de vue plastique, il garde cependant sa vitalité et sa jovialité, de par son ironie, son imagination auto-référentielle excentrique et sa conscience dynamique de la réalité : re-fabriquer les symboles mythiques à partir des matériaux quotidiens, redécouvrir le merveilleux de la nature par l’intermédiaire du cinéma, ou encore réapprendre la posture héroïque dans une répétition théâtrale. Si la dimension conceptuelle des oeuvres se développe d’une manière complexe dans une structure fléchie à plusieurs plis, au niveau plastique, l’ «idée » métaphysique et le quotidien concret se confrontent d’une manière « funky » et tangible. Tout en se basant sur l’attitude éthique qui permet de redécouvrir les nobles valeurs morales, elles font preuve de franchise anti-autoritaire en se permettant l’audace de les exprimer dans une grammaire quotidienne, dans un système de pensée original qui articule corps-sensation-média-quotidien d’une façon synthétique. 


    * La Hallyu est une vague culturelle d’origine sud-coréenne. Elle fut tout particulièrement connue en Chine à partir du début des années 1990. Leterme fut popularisé par les médias de Pékin en référence à la rapidité de diffusion de la culture sud-coréenne du divertissement. Que ce soit au niveaunational ou supra-national, les téléséries sud-coréennes abordent généralement des thèmes universels tels l’amour, la famille ou la piété filiale dansun contexte de chamboulement technologiques et de valeurs. Le recours à la violence et les références à la sexualité y sont généralement très limitées.


    Curatée par Mme Heejin KIM (Director of Art Space Pool)

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The website production was made possible by the patronage of Haegyu Yang.